Fondant icing creates a shiny and smooth surface that allows for easy application of cake decorations. Cake designers prefer to use fondant icing because of its high quality. Transform fondant icing into dimensional objects such as flowers, cartoon characters and ribbons. Although you can buy packaged fondant icing at the store, making your own fondant icing is rewarding and inexpensive. Make fondant icing for your next cake, and turn that cake into a masterpiece.
Add the gelatin to a saucepan of water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, and allow it to sit for five minutes. Simmer the gelatin under low heat, and stir until dissolved. Cover the gelatin and keep it warm, but be careful not to let it boil. Boiling reduces the gelatin's strength and causes a film to develop that will create lumps in the fondant.
Prepare the fondant mixture. Pour the confectioners' sugar into a mixing bowl. Create a medium-sized well or indentation in the center of the sugar. Add the glycerin and light corn syrup, and do not stir the mixture. Pour the warm gelatin into the indent that you made in the sugar. Stir the mixture until well blended, then add the almond flavoring.
Stir the mixture until it becomes stiff. Add cornstarch or oil to your hands, and knead the dough until all of the sugar mixes completely into the fondant.
Sprinkle cornstarch on a flat surface and knead the fondant on that surface. The cornstarch will prevent the fondant from sticking. Knead the fondant until it becomes smooth and shiny. Add a few drops of water if the fondant is dry and starts to crack.
Roll the fondant into a ball. Wrap the fondant icing with plastic wrap. Wait 30 minutes until you roll the fondant out to place it on your cake.
Add color by mixing icing coloring paste into the fondant icing. Food coloring is too watery and will give the fondant a washed-out appearance.
Fondant dries out very fast so add the fondant immediately to the cake to prevent cracking and drying that will ruin the icing's appearance.